Reframing Poverty

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 18 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

This might be one of the most important books I've read and I would recommend it to everyone who wants to make this world a better place for all.

As you can see by my rating and bookshelves: I thoroughly loved this book.
This isn't a self help book, but it definitely helped me see how I should change in my social justice work/aspirations. I fall into the emotion anger, I get so angry at the injustices in this world. This book has shown me that just coming at any problem from a point of anger doesn't necessarily help if we actually want to help the people in need. Our priority should be those in need, not carrying out our plans because we came up with them. We need to collaborate and diversify our ideas instead of getting stuck in our own emotion.
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Reframing Poverty: new Thinking and Feeling About Humanity's Greatest Challenge from Eric Meade is the type of book that should help the discussion and activity surrounding poverty improve.

In acknowledging the different ways that most people view poverty Meade also highlights why very few people will be in complete agreement with the entire book. Which is not, in and of itself, a bad thing, disagreement and debate usually leads to beneficial tweaks to both ideas and policy. It is only when we are too wed to our viewpoint, which quite often is based on only a partial understanding of the overall problem, that disagreement becomes an impenetrable barrier to better processes.

While this book certainly points toward some policy ideas, I think its greatest potential lies in its ability, one hopes, to generate more open-minded and open-hearted discussions. We need fewer partial solutions that only alleviate one aspect of the problem without actually helping to create an environment for people to make real and long term change and more holistic approaches that can move us toward making a serious impact on poverty in the world.

I would recommend this to anyone who wonders why, with all that seems to be done, and all that is definitely said, our progress seems to have stalled out. Yes, as Meade says, we have made significant progress, but that is measured from a starting point well before our industrialized society, so that fact, while true, can be misleading. This book will offer ideas about both poverty itself as well as how and why we think about it as we do.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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Reframing Poverty by Eric Meade is a most provocative book.  It offers new insights into causes of poverty and how we look at the problem. It could change existing views as well as offering new solutions in the future.  Thanks to Net Galley and Canyon House Press for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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One thing is certain about this book: it summons you to a conversation about poverty. I mean just that. There's been a lot that's been said about poverty, policies written, enacted and charities established all over the world to "eradicate" or "combat" poverty and each working within it's own definition. The author attempts to evoke human emotion in understanding poverty and calls for a different approach, one that some would agree with and others would not, but he backs it up with detailed research and various case studies.
I come from a country that's heard and been part of this narrative since independence- and most countries in Africa, like my country, Kenya, people would have different feelings about this book. I love that the author is not forcing his suggestion down the reader's throat, but rather exploring all the ways we've defined poverty and what we've done after and how we've fallen short.
This book would make a great text for discussion and it's not something you read in one sitting, heaven knows I tried and couldn't because there were many times I paused to highlight text or ask questions or just say "hell, no!" 
Thank you Netgalley for the eARC and I look forward to following up on the discussions that this book raises.
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This book is thought-provoking for anyone interested in poverty and its causes. The author challenges readers to reflect on how their own thoughts on poverty actually reveal their own experiences and assumptions. The book looks at poverty from primarily a psychological perspective. There is much talk of Maslow. I found the book a bit too academic for my tastes.  However, it made me think.
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A very well-written, in-depth, thoughtful analysis of the complexities of dealing with poverty.  While the empirical evidence in my own life has supported a viewpoint contrary to the author's, I found I gained a deeper understand of my own belief system and where the common ground lies with those on the other side of the political spectrum.  I think this book provides a meaningful application to help bridge the gap between polarizing positions, which is a rare find in today's climate!
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Reframing Poverty by Mr. Meade allows for the reader to see Mr. Meade's point of view about poverty.  You may not agree with all of his explanations or views, but the one thing this book does is allow for open dialogue about poverty.  Mr. Meade shared his experiences about poverty.  Not everyone can truly relate to poverty.  Reading this book will make you stop and think and poverty and how poverty is a serious social issue that some tend to shy away from.
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In Reframing Poverty, Eric Meade shows a different way of thinking about poverty, its causes and possible steps to reduce it. He takes up the task to explain poverty through the feelings it evokes by looking at it from the outside. Whether it's anger, disgust, or sadness, the tries to validate all kinds of emotions linked to it and  approaches the problems from different perspectives.  The author emphasizes that life is nonlinear and the "path out of poverty is not a straight line." 
Meade's goal is to start a serious conversation by inviting everyone to the discussion, so you won't agree with all his arguments, but they're definitely worth listening to. 
Overall, Reframing Poverty is a very thought-provoking read with a unique point of view of a very relevant topic. You'll probably have mixed feelings while reading it, but I think that's the author's intention.
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The author wrote a thought-provoking account about what poverty is and how to fix it.  The problem with our society is that the people attempting to fix this issue have never experienced being poor and have no clue the effects that it has on the people experiencing poverty.  The author's approach of laying out how it affects all of us whether or not we live in poverty was interesting.  I found this to be an interesting read.
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The author of this book’s goal is to make the reader rethink their feelings and emotions when confronted with poverty. And boy does he succeed at this. 

At times I was flabbergasted, angry, and distraught. Eric Meade begins by defining poverty for us in new way. It evoked such a strong reaction that I had begun writing a review for this book nearly as soon as I began reading, I was so viscerally upset with Mr. Meade. He defines poverty through the eyes of a viewer. We know someone is in poverty if it evokes a strong emotional reaction in us, the viewer. This definition felt wrong on so many levels. He anticipates readers feeling that way, and offers a weak counter argument for why we would be wrong. He claims it is important to frame is from the viewers perspective because viewers typically have the power when “doing” something about it, whether is politics, program design, or humanitarian efforts.

At this point in the book I nearly stopped reading as I felt like the author and I must have such differing opinions I’d never agree with anything he said. But I needed to write this review and I have a strong aversion to not finishing a book I start... so on I went. 

And I’m so glad I did. There were a few moments throughout the book where his arguments were weak, but ultimately what Mr. Mead is attempting to do is bring everyone to the table in order to properly address poverty. To do that, he validates many emotions and opinions of people whom I strongly disagree with. This was hard to stomach as I read, however he is right in that we cannot solve poverty if we come at it from just our own perspectives. It’s going to take the buy-in from many different communities to create supports that alleviate poverty. 

I so appreciated his Plinko board metaphor when it comes to people in poverty “making it out.” It gave a great visual while still validating the many reasons people are in poverty and stay in poverty. I also had not heard of Loevinger’s development of ego model. It made so much sense to me even beyond the conversation of poverty. A question I have is how do we get MORE of our society moving toward increased ego development as I feel as though I encounter people daily at the lower ends of this. 

All in all, a good, frustrating at times, read. I think the author is on the right track toward uniting various people to the same cause. And his proposed solutions seem reasonable and actionable if we have the support from many. 

Thank you Net Galley for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Very timely book worth the read and contemplation. It will take your notions of poverty and turn it on its head. Be prepared to think.
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This book reminds me of Evicted. It's a different way to look at poverty. It's definitely a subject that should be addressed much more than it actually is. I gained some better insight into the world of poverty from reading this book. Everyone should read this book or something similar simply as an eye opener. I recommend this one.
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How can you speak about poverty when you haven't lived it? 
I suppose that's the number one question that is poised here as it's quick to judge but not nearly as quick to come up with sensible solutions to a nationwide and growing problem.
So many have preconceived notions and or myths that have long been emphasized and portrayed about the 'poor' such as they are uneducated, on drugs, lack motivation, lazy, seek handouts not hand ups and more.
I am the new face of poverty.
I'm certainly not lazy in fact I currently hold a Masters (dual degree MPA/CJ). I worked two jobs to put myself through school with a paycheck of $7.25 hr with 10cent raise and one time $25 bonus for top producer/associate of the month (multiple times).
I'm currently a homemaker having given up career to raise family of four. My 3 kids are now teens and after divorcing we were left bankrupt/homeless with enormous debt and no checking or savings or even credit.
There was 15 k in child support arrearages that were wiped off the map and 21k awarded to ex spouse and malignant narcissist resulting in a over payment of 5k. So yes if you can imagine not only being abused but forced to repay an abuser.
While we ate at soup kitchens he had employment, refused support, hid in woods, warrants issued, and came back into picture being repaid for his payments on his home that we'd never receive?! I kid you not he even filed for special relief to regain possession after it was lost through a protection from abuse order (for those unaware that's illegal) and was thrown out of court.
Ironically this is the day and age of rapid corruption, greed, pay to play schemes, and women and children being silenced yet we are the primary caregivers when the men walk away from responsibilities.
If you might wonder how a person who gave up career reenters in this economy that they claim is booming but forgot about us the forgotten who are no longer counted the answer is you don't need to wonder anymore as it's impossible.
Nobody will hire a homemaker whose not worked in the past 20 yrs even with 20 yrs volunteer experience nor will you make a 'living wage'.
Sure I can work at McDonalds and I can suffer worse than I am now below poverty and do so without medical benefits which we need as my son is med disabled since birth with vater and was just kicked off our one of two sources of income (ssi/ssp and child support). His support ends this may when he graduates.
So now what?
Well they still say' get a job' yet they have no idea that circumstances, economy, jobs are all depleted and worsening as the days go on.
If you know anyone willing to hire a mom x 3 who needs flex schedule, ft work with living wages , and benefits please contact immediately.
Otherwise please don't condemn what you cannot possibly understand.
Thank you to Eric, the publisher, netgalley, and aldiko for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
For more information 
Video about my situation told by Clancy Cash Harrison Former President of Al Beech Food Bank : 
.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HakCAdPrlms
Cabot Cheese volunteering article: https://rewardvolunteers.coop/donna-gatcha-hines/
Points of Light: http://www.pointsoflight.org/programs/recognition/dpol/awards/5666
MFHS '16 Outstanding Community Service Award: https://www.mfhs.org/2016-outstanding-community-service-award-donna-gatcha-hines/
NetGalley profile: https://www.netgalley.com/member/profile
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/donna-hines-5595143b/
See also goodreads profile for further information on specifics
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I've always found poor to a relative term when applied to humans. My family was way far from being rich when I was growing up, but we never starved and always had a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs. Later, when I hit my teens, I found people who were disparaged by my family for where they lived, but actually had far more money then we ever had! But they weren't rich. Then as an adult, I worked with the so called poor, who received welfare, yet traveled extensively between the US and various other countries of origin. Still later, I worked with the homeless, some were actually homeless  by choice! I never understood why children were counted as being poor as they have no income of their own, particularly kids between 14-17; they're kids! How could they have any kind of livable income???
Eric Meade's book goes over all the theories of poverty promoted over the years. It's said that the poor will always be with us, and in a sense that's true, but just over the course of 50 years, I've seen so much poverty disappear that have nothing to do with any agencies.  I think folks have a way of finding themselves out of poverty when the time is right. No agency, no amount of charity will change that. Folks do what they need to do to survive. I do agree with Mr. Meade that sometimes a small act of kindness, or a word of advice or encouragement can sometimes be a far greater force than hand outs. 
It's a interesting book and worth reading just to get the various views.
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